99 percent and Saakashvili02.11.2011 | 13:00
Non-governmental organizations of Georgia, by analogy with activists from the United States, have created a movement "We are 99 percent". Its members are protesting against terror, economic pressures and injustices, which the power of the republic is carrying out. As stated by one of the organizers, the head of the Union of free association Alexander Shalamberidze, the main purpose of "99 percent" is to draw attention to the social problems which exist in modern Georgian society. GeorgiaTimes' correspondent contacted with Alexander Shalamberidze and asked him to tell about a new movement and its prospects.
Shalamberidze and asked him to tell about a new movement and its prospects.
The fact, that social problems have long taken the first place in Georgia, is not secret. Accession of the Republic to NATO worries people much less, than the catastrophic situation of unemployment and a simultaneous increase in prices. 14 non-governmental organizations have decided not to stay away from the main ills of Georgian society and on the eve carried out a share "We are 99 percent" in front of Parliament.
The idea of such an organization is not new. As recently as late October, tens of thousands of people around the world supported the action against the financial system, launched in New York. The movement members believe that the majority of wealth is owned by only one percent of the world's population, and the rest just fall into poverty, especially in times of world crises.
Thus, Georgian public has joined the global protest. "Organizations, united by the idea of the movement, based on the specifics of their activities, pose problems, responsibility for which must take the state, emphasized the organizers of rally in Tbilisi. 99 percent of the population is dissatisfied with policy of the Georgian authorities, and only one percent, led by President Saakashvili, thrives. This anomaly needs to be changed". According to the head of Free Association Union Alexander Shalamberidze, this action is only the beginning. "Our goal - is to bring all the problems to the forefront", he said, reminding, that care about ordinary people is the main objective of the Government.
GeorgiaTimes contacted with Alexander Shalamberidze and asked him to tell more about the movement.
- I think the very fact that 14 organizations have united under the banner "We are 99 percent" - this is a big step. The rest depends on us - on how we act and what new initiatives we put forward. I'm sure that "99 percent" should fight against the one percent, that is the band Saakashvili. People must loudly voice their concerns, to ensure that they were resolved and not to replace one leader at almost the same. I'm doing it during year and a half and I can say that people are uniting in associations and it is very difficult to create civil society. But if we don't give up, we win. Our voices will be heard, and the change of government will happen for the better.
Is there a program of action? How far you are aiming? Is it a revolution or regime will be changed in frameworks of the current constitution?
- Only through elections. As for the program, every organization member of "99 percent" has got its own. That is, the unemployed, doctors, teachers, students and street vendors have their goals which they intend to implement. And all of those problems that are described in their programs should be resolved by the Georgian government. New government. The current will go away soon.
How has the Georgian society recieved the rally near the Parliament? How many people participated in the rally?
- There were about a hundred people. But we do not focus on quantity. For us it is more important to be heard. In addition to the general slogan "We are 99 percent", each public organization stated its own requirements. I can say that we are actively working on social programs and, incidentally, have already got some success: not so long ago, Saakashvili said that the companies, which will hire people aged from 45 to 60 years, will get tax cuts. It is clear that the president is promoting himself, but there will be less social problems anyway. So we must speak about the social problems as much as possible. After all, other forces will come to power in Georgia, which should also pay attention to people's problems.
How often the actions will take place?
- Every day. For example, today we already gathered in front of one of the plants. Its management has robbed investors of the shares. And the defrauded people protested today. Our meetings will be both local, that is focused on one specific issue, and large-scale and joint. So it will be on Friday, when all defrauded shareholders of the country will gather to protest near the residence of Saakashvili.